From college to the workplace

Starting a new job or launching yourself into a graduate training programme is an exciting but perhaps daunting prospect, especially when you’ve come straight out of college.

Joining a graduate programme may be your first experience of a large workplace, or you may be moving to a new city. We can’t tell you what it’s like at other workplaces, what we do know is that at Musgrave you’ll fit right in! As a family business our culture is ‘family-focused’, friendly and welcoming. Here, some of our previous grads share their tips and suggestions for moving from college to the workplace to get the very best from your graduate experience:

Ask questions

Coming from college you may be hesitant to ask questions about why certain things are done the way they are. You may not want to seem foolish in front of your new co-workers. At Musgrave your input is encouraged and expected. Musgrave is a large organisation, in fact it’s Ireland’s largest private sector employer, with a lot of complexities and you are not expected to be an expert in everything! You have an opportunity to learn and to be curious about how the organisation operates. Grasp this opportunity and make the most of it. You will be working with people with vast experience and in-depth knowledge, so ask them questions to tap into this knowledge and experience.

Build relationships

As a graduate in Musgrave you will get face time with senior management and company directors. As part of your induction you will get to meet a wide range of people across different functions. It is important that you make a good first impression so be friendly, professional and engaging. Ask as many questions as you can and always thank people for their time. You will learn something new from everyone you meet!

When I was meeting people as part of my induction I tried to find out as much about them and their role as I could before the meeting. This meant that I could ask insightful questions during the meeting and I would encourage you to do the same.”

Extend your knowledge

Ensure that you are up to date with what is happening in the organisation and in the industry before you begin your role. Be curious; look up the latest food trends and follow some exciting food bloggers. People at Musgrave are passionate about food so be prepared to share that passion!

I keep a look out for exciting bloggers and industry publications to make sure that I have an understanding of the current market and of the latest trends that our customers are looking for.”


Set clear objectives

It is important that you always have the bigger picture in mind. Think about it this way: on completion of the graduate programme what do you want to have achieved? What key skills do you want to develop? Work with your manager to set milestones and timelines for your objectives. Look for honest feedback from your managers to see how you can work on your weaknesses and leverage your strengths. Remember, vision without action is hallucination – keep your milestones in mind and actively work to achieve them. This will ensure that once you complete the programme you will have put the most into it and will have got the most out of it.

Master your time

It would be fair to say that a lot of college students tend to leave things until the last minute! This is not a habit that you want to carry on into your professional life. Ensure that you can distinguish between the urgent and the important tasks. Make a to-do list every evening before you leave or every morning when you arrive at your desk. Time is a valuable resource so prioritise what tasks you need to complete each day. You are working in a fast-paced environment and sometimes you may feel that time can slip away from you. Effective time management is a skill that you develop over time.

I have picked up some great advice from my colleagues and from the IMI which have allowed me to manage my time better. I am still learning but I am getting better at it. One of my favourite quotes is “the bad news is that time flies: the good news is that you’re the pilot,” so don’t just manage your time, master it!”

Maintain a healthy work-life balance

One of the Musgrave values is “Working hard” and you will see this manifested in how your colleagues perform at work. It is important that you push yourself and get as much experience as you can. However, it is also important that you maintain a healthy work-life balance. It is all too easy to stay late, but it is more important and impressive if you can maximise how productive you are during normal working hours. Take up a new hobby outside of work that you can focus on, this will help you maintain a good work-life balance.

A new hobby gave me more focus to be productive during normal office hours and I found this productivity translating to days where I did not have anything pressing or urgent on in the evening.”

Make friends!

You are going to meet some wonderful people, people who are not only going to help you in your career but who are also going to become close friends. Musgrave has a very welcoming environment and people will go out of their way to help you settle in. Join work societies and go to social events as these are great ways to meet people and get to know them outside of the office.

Find your answer in our frequently asked questions.
What do I need to consider before I apply?

Add to your email contacts to make sure you receive our application updates

– Make sure your CV is saved in PDF or Word format as other formats may not be supported on our recruitment system

– Are there specific academic criteria for your preferred role? If we are looking for specific qualifications, we will apply these criteria for shortlisting candidates. You may be considered for your second preference if you do not meet specific criteria for your preferred role.

I've submitted my application, what happens next?

We’ll email you within 24 hours of submitting your application inviting you to complete our online assessments. This email will come from so make sure you mark this email as safe. Depending on your email filters, it may be directed to your spam folder. Keep an eye on the inbox and spam of the email you used for your application. If you have not received this email within 48 hours, contact us on requesting this to be resent. This will be resent where applicable within the time-constraints of the application process.

I haven't received details of the online assessments after submitting my application.

This email will come from so make sure you mark this email as safe. Depending on your email filters, it may be directed to your spam folder. Some spam folder settings will automatically delete all emails after 30 days. If you have not received this email within

48 hours of submitting your application, or believe that it may have been deleted from your spam folder, contact us on requesting this to be resent. This will be resent where applicable within the time-constraints of the application process.

When will I find out if I have been successful?

We’ll contact you as soon as possible after each stage of the recruitment process. Correspondence up to the assessment centre stage is through email so please check your email regularly. Depending on your email filters sometimes our email may end up in your spam folder, check this out if you haven’t heard from us and ensure you have marked our email as safe.

How many graduates do you hire each year?

We’re a fast-moving business and our opportunities change from year to year to meet our business requirements. We typically hire between 10-20 graduates each year.

Can I reapply next year if I don’t get onto the programme this year?

Yes, you can apply the next year if unsuccessful in your application.

Do I need a specific degree to be considered for Musgrave?

Many of our opportunities are open to graduates from all degree backgrounds. Where we do look for a specific qualification, we’ll specify it in the role description so check out Our Opportunities page. If we are looking for specific qualifications, we will apply these criteria for shortlisting candidates.

How recently should I have graduated?

Our roles are aimed at grads who are looking for their first or second job. However, if you are interested in a career with Musgrave and have more experience you can apply directly for any of our vacancies.

What is the minimum requirement to be eligible for the graduate programme?

Successful applicants must have graduated, or be on track to graduate, with an Honours Primary Degree (Level 8 NFQ). For roles where a specific degree or discipline is specified, we will apply these criteria for shortlisting candidates.

I need a work permit. Are you able to organise that for me?

It is a requirement that you are eligible to work in the Republic of Ireland. If you do not hold an appropriate work permit, regretfully we cannot take your application further. If you are successful in your application with us, we will support the required documentation for future permit application. We do not provide financial sponsorship for permits.

Why do I have two role choices on the application form?

We ask for your two preferred graduate roles to understand how you want to develop your career. We’ll consider your application based on your first preference as much possible. We may consider

you for your second choice if we feel this would be more suited to your profile or if your academic qualifications do not meet criteria for specific role if required e.g. if you apply for an IT role and you do not hold a relevant IT/technical degree or masters.

Do I need to know what area I want to work in?

Our graduate roles are designed to provide you with the skills and knowledge to progress to business roles in specific areas e.g. if you join our buying programme, you will work in buying teams for the two years of the programme to gain the experience needed to become a buyer for our leading retail and wholesale brands. We recommend you go through our Opportunities carefully and make an informed decision on which area appeals most to your career ambition.

What is the duration of the graduate programme?

The Programme runs for two years, apart from the finance and commercial food leadership programmes, which run for three years. We hire on a fixed-term contract initially and will work with high performing graduates to provide you with suitable career moves in our business post-Programme.

Will I change locations during the programme?

Depending on your graduate role, you will work in at least two of our divisional headquarters throughout the programme. These may be located in Dublin, Cork or Belfast. Check out our Opportunities to see where the roles are based and whether the role has a geographical rotation. If such a rotation is required, it forms part of your contract.

What's involved in the IMI development programme?

The IMI programme is a bespoke development programme developed by the IMI and Musgrave to support the professional and personal development of our graduates. It comprises 6 modules over 2 years focused on areas such as personal growth, strategy, financial acumen, project management. You will also receive individual coaching as part of the IMI development Programme and will work on a business project in Year 2 which you will present to our CEO and senior leaders. Some modules will be facilitated in person at the IMI campus in Dublin and others will be delivered virtually.

Can I work remotely?

All Musgrave colleagues in office-based roles have the option to work in a hybrid role, with time spent in the office to collaborate and engage, and time working remotely. We calling this Work Smart @ Musgrave and details will be shared with successful applicants. Typically colleagues will spend 1-2 days in the office per week however it can vary by team.

Will I work with specific brands or across the whole business?

Depending on the role, you may work across several brands while on the Programme to give you wide exposure of our business. Details of the brands involved in each opportunity are included in the role descriptions on Our Opportunities

I want to study for a professional accountancy qualification, will you support this?

We support our Finance graduates in studying for the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) qualification via the CGMA Finance Leadership Program provided by CIMA. This is an online learning program, similar in scope and rigour to a master’s degree, that teaches the finance, business, people, and leadership skills needed to succeed in the finance team of the future. All learning, assessments and Case Study exam preparation takes place within the comprehensive FLP platform. Musgrave provides financial support and study leave for our Finance graduates to undertake this study pathway. We do not currently support other accountancy study pathways.

Where can I get more information?

Connect with us on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter for regular updates, you can also visit our corporate website to find out more about Musgrave

Are there opportunities to work abroad?

Currently all our graduate roles are based on the Island of Ireland.